Not too long ago, your chances of being involved in a traffic accident with an Amazon driver would have been extremely low. This multinational technology company began as an online marketplace for books in 1994 but has evolved in the past 28 years to become the world’s fifth largest company. In its early days, Amazon used UPS, Fed-Ex, or the USPS to ship its products but began building its own fleet to deliver packages in 2005.
As of 2022, Amazon ships an astonishing 1.6 billion packages daily. Not only is it increasingly able to do without the services of other carriers to ship its own products, but it is also competing against UPS and Fed-Ex by moving cargo for non-Amazon customers. This third-party shipping process has only increased the number of delivery vehicles operating under the Amazon umbrella.
What does this mean to the average driver?
- Amazon delivery trucks are everywhere. In fact, it is almost impossible (especially if you live in a populated area) to go through an entire day without encountering one or several of them on the road. The drivers are under strict time constraints, and can often be distracted from the road by GPS programs helping them find addresses or shorter routes. If you happen to be involved in an accident with one of these vehicles, you may not even realize at first that there is a connection to Amazon. Many Amazon delivery workers drive and insure their own cars, which can muddy the waters in a personal injury lawsuit.
- According to CNBC, as of 2021, Amazon had 400,000 drivers, 40,000 semi-trucks, and 30,000 vans (not to mention more than 70 planes).
- In July 2022, Amazon began using a fleet of Rivian electric vans to deliver to 100 cities in the United States. The company plans to increase this fleet to 100,000 vehicles in the next 8 years.
If someone delivering for Amazon causes an accident, many of the first steps you should take are the same as in any other crash:
- Call 911 and check on your passengers.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- Obtain the contact information of any witnesses.
- Do not apologize or say anything more than you need to. It is natural to have empathy for the other driver, but your words can be twisted and used as an admission of guilt, even if they weren’t meant that way.
- If you can do so safely, use your cell phone to take photographs of the damage to the vehicles; include surroundings so that it is obvious where each vehicle ended up in the crash. If there are any tire marks on the road, photograph them, too.
- Make sure that you get an accident report from the responding police officer.
- Contact an experienced car accident attorney.
This last step is going to be especially important; because of Amazon’s various delivery methods, it may be unclear who should be ultimately responsible for compensating you for your economic and non-economic damages.
Amazon operates its own branded Sprinter delivery vans as well as semi-trucks. It also employs independent contractors under its Flex Program who use their own vehicles to make deliveries.
Recent news stories
- 1/12/22: The 2019 Mercedes Sprinter vans used by Amazon are being investigated by the NHTSA because they have a proclivity towards rolling away, even when they are in Park and the parking brake is engaged. Drivers get out of their seats to make deliveries an estimated 200 times each day, and this rolling is a danger. Amazon is blaming drivers, but a lawsuit resulting from this type of accident could hold both Amazon and Mercedes responsible.
- 9/9/22: An Amazon driver with a suspended license hit and totaled a woman’s car in Florida after the driver changed her mind about making a turn while her GPS was rerouting.
- 2/23/22: A North Carolina motorcyclist lost his leg after a crash with an Amazon delivery truck. The delivery driver admitted that he was looking down at his GPS when the accident occurred. The motorcyclist’s lawsuit alleges that Amazon is responsible for placing unrealistic demands on its drivers. Amazon’s lawyers are denying these allegations.
- 11/12/2021: An aspiring doctor was paralyzed in an accident caused by an Amazon.com Inc. delivery van that slammed into the back of the car he was a passenger in. His lawsuit alleges that Amazon is responsible because of all of the algorithms and apps it uses to control drivers on their routes. As quoted in Bloomberg News, Andrew Elmore, a University of Miami law professor said, “The question is whether Amazon is vicariously liable as an employer because of the control it has over the driver…It had a lot of control, and it could be held liable.”
- Amazon Logistics was a defendant in at least 119 motor vehicle injury lawsuits in 35 states in 2021.
- 6/24/22: A group of Amazon Flex drivers in New Jersey staged a walkout to protest poor treatment from Amazon. They are unhappy with their rate of pay, plus the fact that Amazon treats them as independent contractors and does not pay for their gas, vehicle insurance, or vehicle maintenance while at the same time tightly controlling them through their “Mentor” app.
How Crossen Law Firm Can Help
It’s obvious that accidents with Amazon drivers are almost impossible to negotiate legally without the help of an Indiana Amazon delivery accident lawyer. The driver may have been rushing to make a delivery, distracted by a GPS, operating a faulty vehicle, or simply driving negligently. You need to be fairly compensated for your damages, and you need someone to fight against the might of the behemoth which is the Amazon legal team.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident with an Amazon driver, call 317-401-8626 today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with the seasoned Indiana truck accident lawyers at Crossen Law Firm.